Gastric Sleeve Plication Recovery Timeline
Gastric sleeve plication reduces the stomach’s size by folding it in half and suturing it in place. Many patients find this procedure beneficial because it does not involve rerouting the digestive tract or surgically removing a portion of the stomach. In fact, if desired, results can be reversed at a later date.
Here is a general recovery timeline for gastric sleeve plication operations. About five days after the procedure, you will be cleared to take a shower and participate in light activity, but it’s important not to lift anything heavier than 10 pounds. On the seventh day, you will be encouraged to switch to over-the-counter pain medications for any residual discomfort. You can also begin adding in smoothies, soups, and thicker drinks to your diet. If prescription pain medications are no longer being consumed, you can resume driving.
Because recovery time is often longer than traditional gastric sleeve, it’s important to have a good understanding of what is involved so you can take the adequate amount of time off work and achieve a smooth recovery. Although the procedure can vary based on each patient’s unique needs, below is the basic gastric sleeve plication recovery timeline to give you a good understanding of what to expect.
How Long Does the Recovery Last?
The overall recovery generally takes about four to six weeks and it’s important that you plan on taking about two to three weeks off from work. In some cases, patients who have jobs with light activity can return to work after about one week - but you will still feel fatigued and sore.
The surgical procedure lasts about two to three hours and you will stay overnight in the clinic so our team can monitor you carefully for any complications. Within the first 24 hours, you will be encouraged to get up and move around. It is not uncommon to experience fatigue, pain, and nausea, but we will provide you with medication to help minimize discomfort.
The day after surgery, you will be given a small amount of liquid to drink to ensure everything is operating properly. If no complications occur, you can begin consuming clear liquids. Before being released to go home, the doctor will review your post-surgical instructions with you - these should be followed diligently and will include:
- How to keep the incisions clean
- Signs of infection
- Medications to take
- Exact diet guidelines
- Activities to participate in and avoid
Weeks 2 through 3
By this time, incisions should no longer need bandages and you can begin applying special ointments to aid in healing. If pain is still evident, continue over-the-counter medications as needed. Continue walking and participating in light activity, and if you feel up to it, you can return to work. If your body is responding well to the thicker drinks, you can begin adding in soft, pureed foods.
At the beginning of week three, you can start adding in solid foods. During this period, it’s important to attend any follow-up appointments so the doctor can ensure everything is healing well.
Weeks 4 through 6
Pain should no longer be an issue at this point and incisions will be healed. By this stage, you will begin to notice significant weight loss. All normal activity and exercise can resume, including heavy lifting. If your body has responded well up to this point on the foods consumed, you can begin adding in other foods. However, to achieve your weight loss goals, it’s important to follow a healthy diet, low in fat and high in nutritional value.
Learn More Today
At Tijuana Bariatric Center, we understand this is a very personal decision and should not be taken lightly. We privately and comprehensively meet with each of our patients who come to our Tijuana, Mexico clinic to help patients achieve their weight loss goals. We offer a variety of surgical procedures, including gastric sleeve plication. Here, we discussed the gastric sleeve plication recovery timeline. For more information or to schedule your initial consultation, contact our office today online or by calling (877) 638-9417. As an added incentive, we offer medical tourism insurance coverage at no additional cost.